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Application For Multi-track Back-up Recording?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #1
Application For Multi-track Back-up Recording?

I use a JoeCo BBR64-Dante for my primary large-job multi-track recorder and it works perfectly. Never a run, drip or error.

I have a MBP on the network and I find it a good place for some Mac-based application to use as a back-up recorder/playback.

Here's the deal. I was using Waves Tracks Live which records fine; simple, good UI, take sync from external LTC. But it needs a big, complicated work-around to allow playback while being sync'd to LTC. I could run it without Time Code but why should I need to? Feature request is in, acknowledged, and "someday".

So everyone on the blog raves about Reaper. Great app, records fine, plays back with no problem, but there is nothing in place to lock out the keyboard from an inadvertent command, like "stop". There are work-arounds for that as well, but all I need as an engineer during a live recording is more "work-arounds".

Anyone have any thoughts on another application I could try to see if it might be the Golden Child of live recoding apps?

Boom Recorder? Haven't tried it yet.

Might just need to bite the bullet and buy another JoeCo. Ugh!

D.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #2
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If you're running Tracks Live as a backup, why do you need to allow playback while being synced to LTC..isn't the idea of a backup to run silently in the background ? If the Waves meters are bouncing you'd take it as read that it's recording correctly.

I'm pretty sure you can just create a custom action for Reaper which ensures the 'stop lockout' mode sticks as a recording template preset, so you wouldn't have to reprogram it each time you set up.
https://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=157327

It very likely has the lowest resource overhead of any DAW around, which in itself is a strong case for its use as a background backup.

Last edited by studer58; 3 weeks ago at 03:45 PM..
Old 3 weeks ago
  #3
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Easiest=Reaper. Has worked great for me for this. I ended up getting a 2nd JoeCo mostly as a way of getting beyond 24 tracks, but could rig it as a backup machine (but don't mostly). Boom Recorder is great, and is a bit more TC friendly than Reaper, although more expensive. Since you drive a Dante rig (right?) would a 2nd JoeCo on the network be the easiest most bulletproof BU? Or are you looking for BU that is ahead of the ADC stage (like an analog pickoff)? I for one loathe the idea of getting a laptop involved in field recording again....why I went to JoeCo in the first place.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #4
So, some answers occur to me.

I need Waves Tracks Live NOT to sync in P/B. That function is not possible. The reason that I would do a P/B off the BU is that I NEVER do anything with the primary record and I can use the app on the laptop (already in the system and Dante enabled) to do the infrequent but sometimes P/B for the producer/conductor/director/musician. To make WTL play back, I need to turn the sync to external TC off or the app will only play back white-space 'cause that is where the TC generator is "now". I can do that, but if I forget to turn sync to external TC back on and the heads are parked in the middle of an already recorded section, WTL will simply start recording from there and over-write the recording. Not so great if it is to primarily function as a backup.

A second JoeCo would work fine as a backup, via Dante direct from the preamps but it is not fun to play back from a JoeCo although it can be done.

I did discover the way to lock out the keyboard in Reaper (thanks here and on the Reaper forum) and I believe that it will solve the problem. Now I just need to practice with it. I've set up a starting template for any multi-track session and it seems to be recording the files correctly. Put into stop from Record with a multi-key command, it will then play back from where ever I desire (marks are easy to set) and then when the Record keyboard shortcut is pressed, return to recording down the timeline where the TC generator tells it to start. I think that is what I am after.

I used Reaper many years ago, probably in its first iteration, but hadn't really used it much lately, sorta being forced into the Pro Tools camp in deference to my normal clients. Reaper was, and still is, an awesome piece of work.

Thanks for the quick replies.

D.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #5
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Plush's Avatar
For that stuff move towards Boom Recorder and call it a day. Absolutely reliable.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #6
I love Reaper, it's a very light load. But for the Mac Boom Recorder may be great too.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TMetzinger View Post
I love Reaper, it's a very light load. But for the Mac Boom Recorder may be great too.
It is great. I used it on live-fire movie sound jobs on location, big commercials, drama etc as well as what were for me very high track-count recordings. Take Vos, the programmer/owner, is very responsive and has continually tweaked and improved the program. It is a capture app, exclusively: not for editing or playback at all. The interface takes some getting used to (it's pretty unique), but it is very logical once you get your mind around it. Very lean and mean. $260 US. https://www.pokitec.com/products/BoomRecorder/ The only real drawback is that it is Mac only.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
For that stuff move towards Boom Recorder and call it a day. Absolutely reliable.
No fun to do producers' playback from Boom Recorder.

Has to be simple and easy. Can't be something I need to spend any thought on in the middle of a busy production day.

I think Reaper is "it" until WTL figures out this bug. More app than I need, which is why I want to love WTL so much but Reaper will do what I need it to do.

D.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #9
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Doug, as a MacBook owner who (presumably ?) has both Boom Recorder and Reaper on the same machine...is it possible for you to do a quick real-world simulation of a location recording load (say 8-12 channels of simultaneous white/pink noise line input) ? Maybe 24 bit 44.1 and 24/88 or 96 too ?

The CPU hit while each is running such a load would be of interest to me, and perhaps others here also ? You wouldn't need to run it for long, I'm guessing it should stabilise within seconds of starting.

In Reaper you can get a direct readout, I think from View >Performance dropdown ? I'm guessing both DAW-recorders will be showing a fairly light load, but the MacBook might see it differently ? Does the Mac have its own CPU load readout, independent of the Reaper and Boom logging ?

For an added perspective, wiggle the mouse and/or trackpad a few times while you're testing, and note if that adds any measurable overhead (USB bus) load....in previous experiences (with both PC and Mac) I've found it does indeed !

Last edited by studer58; 3 weeks ago at 05:23 AM..
Old 3 weeks ago
  #10
That's a great idea! I'll try and get around to it today.

I do know that WTL has a direct processor-load read out and I may sneak that one into the test as well.

I really like the simplicity of the Waves recorder, it being a one-trick pony, and I would use it for sure if/when they add an on-off option for Sync LTC to Playback.

But the problems I was having with Reaper seem to have been solved and even as it has a lot more capability than I need, I don't need to delve in. It is doing exactly what I ask it to do and ran for 8 hours straight yesterday without a bobble.

Next!

D.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #11
Hmm. A question for someone with more computer smarts than me.

Okay, numbers.

26 inputs into record with external LTC

CPU usage as reported by the applications them selves:

Reaper 7.8-12.2%
Tracks Live 6.0%
Boom Recorder no in-app indiction

CPU usage as reported by the MBP Activity Monitor

Reaper 33-35%
Tracks Live 78-79%
Boom Recorder 25-28%

Now, the rolling graph in the MBP Activity Monitor shows no strain with any of the three and reports an overall CPU usage at 14% so I am guessing that I just don't understand the numbers and wherefore of the Activity Monitor but I am surprised by the discrepancy between the app reported usage and the Activity Monitor report.

I did burn Reaper for about 8 hours with 28 tracks and LTC and it recorded ten files (there is a maximum file size, like the SD 7-series recorders) but the cross-over is audibly seamless when imported into Pro Tools and played back.

FWIW and this and something around $5 will buy you a cup of coffee.

D.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #12
Lives for gear
Thanks for running that trial Doug...those reported % figures from the DAWs themselves are about in line with what you'd expect (ie quite a light load)

Like yourself, I'm puzzled about the discrepancy with the MBP's own Activity monitor figures...they seem to suggest there's a lot running in the background, not just the DAW ? Have you turned off Bluetooth, the wireless modem, any malware or virus scanning, Time Machine backup etc ?

I'm also curious about what happens to the MBP Activity Monitor when you move the mouse or scroll it, or swipe the trackpad...I've seen those simple actions trigger quite a sharp overhead from the USB side of things. Perhaps other Mac users can chip in here with their experiences too ?

At the end of the day, if you're generating dropout-free/glitch-free recordings, and the fan isn't revving like a military drone, then you're probably safely inside the comfort operating zone of the MBP ?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by studer58 View Post
At the end of the day, if you're generating dropout-free/glitch-free recordings, and the fan isn't revving like a military drone, then you're probably safely inside the comfort operating zone of the MBP ?
I think this is true.

The numbers I quoted from the MBP Activity Monitor were those specifically listed for the apps. It seems weird to me to see a number in the 70% range for something like WTL but then, the graph and the numbers showing total CPU usage are well below that; in the 14% range. What does the 70% figure mean, relative to the total CPU usage? I would expect to see total usage HIGHER than the individual application usage. Hmm.

I guess I am not going to over-think this, but the next time I run Reaper, I will swipe and click the track-pad and see what changes in the activity monitor.

D.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #14
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i have been using 'nuendo live' (the addition of 'live' makes the difference!) lately which came with a yamaha desk - fairly uncluttered imo and does what it is supposed to do...
Old 3 weeks ago
  #15
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lukedamrosch's Avatar
 

In general, the amount of CPU-consuming processes which are running "under the hood" these days on most machines, whether Mac or PC, is rather frustrating. Especially those related to anti-virus, auto-update, power management etc. which can suddenly start up unannounced and cause a significant spike in resource consumption.

I don't miss my brief flirtation with Linux due to other headaches, but on this particular front, I find myself reminiscing fondly.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #16
The laptop that is running this recorder (and a few other things; the Dante VSC and the Dante controller) is super cleaned out. There is very little extraneous on it because I cleaned it out when I was trying to use PT2019 as the backup recorder.

What a disaster! Crashed all the time. So no more PT on live gigs ever again.

Anyway, at least for the moment, everything seems to be working well. (Knock wood!)

D.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #17
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Re: playback on-site: does it have to be off the multitrack? Can you roll a 2-mix on something easier to deal with for this? I have a 744 in my JoeCo rack that acts as TC and clock master, and also records a life ref mix. It's pretty easy to playback off that, easier than searching the JoeCo anyhow... BoomRecorder is really not set up for easy playback at all....
Old 3 weeks ago
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by philper View Post
BoomRecorder is really not set up for easy playback at all....
That's what I am saying. In Reaper, the last two tracks of the session are set up as Mix L-R. Then sent to a stereo output on the MBP via the Dante VSC, then to the Dante network, then to two inputs on the SQ6, then analog to (most) phones/speakers. I have a scene set in the SQ6 for playback,. Call it up and it gives me only the two playback inputs to the phones/speakers. Easy as pie. Call up the saved session settings and back to work. LTC syncs in Record only, I can drop markers in record and name them on the fly while the producer twiddles knobs to hi heart's content. "Play back the first movement, please." Done!

D.

BTW, I think doing playback off an SD 7-series machine is super clunky and unfriendly.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tourtelot View Post
That's what I am saying. In Reaper, the last two tracks of the session are set up as Mix L-R. Then sent to a stereo output on the MBP via the Dante VSC, then to the Dante network, then to two inputs on the SQ6, then analog to (most) phones/speakers. I have a scene set in the SQ6 for playback,. Call it up and it gives me only the two playback inputs to the phones/speakers. Easy as pie. Call up the saved session settings and back to work. LTC syncs in Record only, I can drop markers in record and name them on the fly while the producer twiddles knobs to hi heart's content. "Play back the first movement, please." Done!

D.

BTW, I think doing playback off an SD 7-series machine is super clunky and unfriendly.
I guess I'm used to it. I can't recall, maybe the menus are simpler or fewer on 744 vs 788? Anyhow, happy Reapering.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tourtelot View Post
That's what I am saying. In Reaper, the last two tracks of the session are set up as Mix L-R. Then sent to a stereo output on the MBP via the Dante VSC, then to the Dante network, then to two inputs on the SQ6, then analog to (most) phones/speakers. I have a scene set in the SQ6 for playback,. Call it up and it gives me only the two playback inputs to the phones/speakers. Easy as pie. Call up the saved session settings and back to work. LTC syncs in Record only, I can drop markers in record and name them on the fly while the producer twiddles knobs to hi heart's content. "Play back the first movement, please." Done!

D.

BTW, I think doing playback off an SD 7-series machine is super clunky and unfriendly.
what, you're not playing back all tracks individually on your a&h sq6?! why is that? don't you ever need to do overdubs? - i assume were mostly talking classical music but still: i always monitor multitrack/'tape' return signals (or a split from the input signals if working with outboard preamps) - no need for switching scenes then, just switching inputs (depending on routing) and individual monitoring via auxes to phones and wedges stays the same.

and regarding sd7: digico sd7? then i'm with you: super clunky! got a switch as well to jump between mic inputs and playback of tracks...
Old 3 weeks ago
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
what, you're not playing back all tracks individually on your a&h sq6?! why is that? don't you ever need to do overdubs? - i assume were mostly talking classical music but still: i always monitor multitrack/'tape' return signals (or a split from the input signals if working with outboard preamps) - no need for switching scenes then, just switching inputs (depending on routing) and individual monitoring via auxes to phones and wedges stays the same.

and regarding sd7: digico sd7? then i'm with you: super clunky! got a switch as well to jump between mic inputs and playback of tracks...
I'm pretty sure he is referring to SD as in "Sound Devices", the 7xx series incl 788, 744 etc....
Old 3 weeks ago
  #22
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
what, you're not playing back all tracks individually on your a&h sq6?!
What? Of course, I have the ability to play back any/all of the multitrack but I have no idea, at least of the SQ6, why anyone would do it any differently than I do

I am almost always playing back a mix so that conductors, directors, musicians can hear the whole piece. Easy to make that mix anything we want. Rarely ever do I overdub. I am a live-on-location tracking engineer.

That's why God invented patch-bays, We all do it differently right? Your experience is yours alone and maybe if you were here, you could teach me a different way. Doesn't necessarily mean it's a better way.

And yes, I was referring to the Sound Devices 7-series multi-track recorders.

D.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tourtelot View Post
What? Of course, I have the ability to play back any/all of the multitrack but I have no idea, at least of the SQ6, why anyone would do it any differently than I do

I am almost always playing back a mix so that conductors, directors, musicians can hear the whole piece. Easy to make that mix anything we want. Rarely ever do I overdub. I am a live-on-location tracking engineer.

That's why God invented patch-bays, We all do it differently right? Your experience is yours alone and maybe if you were here, you could teach me a different way. Doesn't necessarily mean it's a better way.

And yes, I was referring to the Sound Devices 7-series multi-track recorders.

D.
i'm certainly not the only person who uses a mixing desk on location to create individual mixes and listens to playback tracks via 'tape' returns, no different these days ('tape mode') than in earlier days (sync head):

conductor, producer, soloists, sections, broadcast truck, pa - individual mixes get sent everywhere as needed, mono or stereo auxes, subgroups, stems, main mix, matrices etc. and are adjusted as wanted, for realtime monitoring during recording or upon playback - zero need for switching between different scenes. and one can easily start building a mix while recording besides setting some markers in the daw so at the end of the recording session, the mix is pretty much polished.

what do you do when the conductor you're working with during playback wants to hear less soloist but more violins or wants to hear but the woodwinds while the soloist wants to check his/her performance an hence needs an entirely different mix than the conductor? do you tell them sorry, can't do that, you all need to listen to a generic mix? - i'm just not getting why you're then using a mixing desk at all: imo you're missing its most powerful feature and use it just as a glorified cr monitor switch.

i'd really love to hear what advantage your setup offers...




p.s. of course i'm recording a rough mix back into my recorders (daw and hd recorder) but only to have the option of giving the producer/conductor something to listen to on their way home...

and there's too much gear labelled 'sd'! i was referring to this: https://digico.biz/consoles/sd7/ - certainly qualifies for being 'bulky' :-)
Old 3 weeks ago
  #24
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huub's Avatar
(I haven't read the whole thread, sorry)
I mostly use reaper on mac for both main and backup.
Can't give enough praise to reaper for location recording (recording sync to video)
Old 3 weeks ago
  #25
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Matti's Avatar
https://forum.cockos.com/showthread.php?t=157327
Set it once and no accidents likely

Matti
Old 3 weeks ago
  #26
I think where the "mixing" is done while tracking is a matter of personal preference.

Sometimes I'll take the approach where the signal flows from the mics into the preamps to the DAW and in parallel to the console channel strips and faders which drives the mix I'm hearing and sending on site. The DAW is just a recorder at that point and I will have to mix "from scratch" on the DAW in post.

Other times I may be routing all the mics to the DAW from the console, and building a mix ON THE DAW, and routing back the stereo cue mix from the DAW to the console. This is often handy when doing overdubbing as I can give the performers "their" sound direct from the console (less latency) while building the beginnings of a mix on the DAW (where it will be saved and useful in post).

The context of the situation drives which approach I take.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #27
Damn. Why is this so obtuse.

I, like you (and BTW, my name is Doug, what's yours?) have every channel available in my panel for playback. As I already said, I do almost no overdubbing. Almost every playback I do is a quick rough mix that has already been done by the producer (or me) to check stuff like tempo, articulation, balance and etc. This rough 2-mix is recorded on separate tracks of the backup recording (I never do any playbacks from the primary recording) and easily played back with a simple scene set on my panel. It is easy and appropriate.

All the other channels are available on faders if, as you suggested, the conductor wants to hear a re-mix. That, in my experience, NEVER happens.

And that's my point. Your experience is yours and you have adapted your setup to do the things you need it to do.

What bugs me is the arrogant tone you present to the effect that I don't know how to "do it right". I have been doing this a long time my friend, and my methods work fine for me thanks.

As Tim says, approaches to everything in life are situational.

D.

PS. On large projects, headphone feeds are taken care of by an AE on the floor with a separate panel. Latency is minimal to say the least.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #28
And, as well, this thread started with the simple question of an appropriate application to use as a backup recorder. Thanks to all who kept to the point. I am pretty content with my choice of Reaper for this task, and with that, I'm outie. Peace out!

D.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tourtelot View Post
PS. On large projects, headphone feeds are taken care of by an AE on the floor with a separate panel. Latency is minimal to say the least.
hi doug

my comments were not meant to come across arrogant: i sincerely couldn't wrap my head around your approach 'cause i've never ever seen someone doing it the way you describe it - things cleared up a lot with the above post: i almost always need to take care of cue mixes myself and hence want to control all signals from my desk. cheers,

didier (aka dee-dee-yeah)
Old 3 weeks ago
  #30
Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post

didier (aka dee-dee-yeah)
Ah. Thanks Didier.

D.
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